Stargirl” (Mondays on DC Universe; Tuesdays on CW) – one of 14 current TV series executive-produced by Greg Berlanti – falls into the category of what my buddy Michael calls “product”: something that exists for commercial rather than artistic reasons. That doesn’t mean it can’t be good, but this latest addition to the DC TV universe is as stiff as the Cosmic Staff wielded by its title character, teen Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged”).
Green Lantern” (2011) has a reputation for being garbage, but it’s a perfectly fine adaptation of the DC superhero who was created in 1940 by Alan Scott and Martin Nodell. If you go in hearing about how bad it is, you might even think “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” Since my superhero-watching journey is partly for the sake of learning about the major figures in comic-book lore, I found this to be a painless piece of homework.
Batwoman” (Sundays, CW) is the 17th current show produced by Greg Berlanti – that’s not a joke for the sake of exaggeration, he really does produce 17 shows that are currently on the air – and it’s as straight down the middle as all the others. Bruce Wayne’s cousin, Kate Kane/Batwoman (Ruby Rose), arrives as a slickly packaged superhero, perfectly filling out her suit – tailored by Luke Fox (son of Lucius, I imagine) – and ready to kick butt alongside The CW’s other DC superheroes (This is series No. 6).
Believe it or not, there was a time when there were zero superhero shows on TV. Now there are so many that they don’t all fit on TV. Even though most of The CW’s lineup is DC Comics adaptations, there isn’t room for all of them. “Titans,” which premiered last fall, and “Doom Patrol,” which launched last month, are both on the DC Universe streaming channel. The pilot episodes are available for free through March 29.
“Jack & Bobby” Season 1 (2004-05, WB), episodes 1-7 – “Jack & Bobby’s” mother (Christine Lahti) is a living, breathing stereotype of a liberal college professor who feels out of sorts in Small Town, Missouri. In the show’s second episode, she invites students to smoke marijuana and open their minds in her living room, which is littered with Kerry-Edwards placards. Bobby (Logan Lerman), the show’s future-president-as-a-young-man, wears about 30 Kerry-Edwards pins on his T-shirt.
CBS’ “Supergirl,” which recently wrapped up its first season, raises compelling questions about the societal role of someone blessed with extraordinary skills. Although Supergirl is held up as a paragon of virtue by the citizens of Capital City — and the world – an observer could make a case that she’s barely doing the minimum for someone who is made of steel and who can quickly fly anywhere in the world without her arms even getting tired.
“Supergirl” (8 p.m. Eastern Mondays on CBS) is a slickly produced and nicely acted but utterly unnecessary and unimaginative addition to TV’s comic-book superhero boom. Because it’s in the same timeslot as another DC adaptation, “Gotham,” and the year’s best new show, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” my DVR wouldn’t record it and I watched it on the Internet. It was hardly worth the extra effort.
Since I’m venturing into politics with this post (which will eventually be about television), I’ll admit my bias up front: I’ll be voting for the Libertarian Party ticket of Johnson-Gray in November. But I think anyone who’s been paying attention knows that the growing distrust of Big Government, Big Spending and Big War is the noteworthy political development of 2012 (with its roots in 2008, when Ron Paul first ran for the Republican nomination).
Which is the superior superhero show — “The Cape” (8 p.m. Central Mondays on NBC) or “No Ordinary Family” (7 p.m. Central Tuesdays on ABC)? It’s a close call; I like both shows and have problems with both shows in roughly equal measure. So let’s break it down by category.
Here are my first impressions of “No Ordinary Family,” which airs at 7 p.m. Central Tuesdays on ABC.